7 Skills to Future-Proof Your Career
Guest contributor Jennifer, uses her entrepreneurial and business experience to offer helpful tips on how to future-proof your career in these ever-changing times. Whether you’re currently working or on a job hunting mission, these are all skills worth working on now.
Rapid advances in technology, the onset of digital transformation, as well as demographic changes have all changed how people work, businesses operate, and consumers shop. From flight attendants to news reporters, jobs have never evolved so fast before. Every day, there are new professions listed on employment-oriented social networks such as LinkedIn. Whatever your job currently is, there’s a pretty good chance it won’t look the same in the future. Here are some simple ways to ensure that you won’t get left behind, to help future-proof your career:
1. Adopt a ‘change is unavoidable’ mindset
The technology used in the work environment is going to keep evolving – there’s no doubt about that. A great example of this is conversational AI platforms. Today, a lot of companies rely on these extremely convenient tools when it comes to customer interactions. It’s important to have an open mind about what these kinds of (unavoidable) changes may bring, and be capable of taking them head-on.
2. Be tech-savvy not tech-averse
When they’re struggling with new technology, some people just throw their hands up in defeat and give up. Instead, just take all the time you need to become familiar with tools that are (or will become) vitally important in your industry.
Keep in mind that the automation tools (like the one mentioned above) still have to be set up and managed by humans in one way or another. The capability of working with Artificial Intelligence is considered by many experts to be essential to future-proof your career.
Photo: Possessed Photography – Unsplash
3. Expand & hone your skills
Having a degree is of course a great head start, but to stay ahead of the game, one simply has no other choice but to keep learning. Fortunately, acquiring and honing new skills has never been so easy – there are thousands of easily accessible and very affordable online courses you can enrol in which are relevant to your career. Keep in mind that this is something you can do even if you’re currently unemployed.
4. Work on your soft skills too
Being able to train an AI to automate the more technical aspects of your job is great. But only humans can perform the soft skills that are so essential to most businesses, such as time management, collaboration, communication, and leadership.
With AI platforms not possessing human-like emotional intelligence, soft skills are guaranteed to remain in high demand. And, just as in the case of hard skills, you can participate in online classes and training to hone your soft skills and stay one step ahead of the competition.
5. Grow your network
Building relationships with other people in your industry will be helpful throughout your career. And with lots of people still working from home due to the global pandemic, staying connected is now more important than ever.
Join discussions, ask questions and post useful content on LinkedIn groups – this will help you to build healthy professional relationships and grow your network more naturally. You’ll be connected to people that may open opportunities, in case your position ever starts looking uncertain or you want to progress your career elsewhere.
6. Keep up with the trends
If you genuinely want to future-proof your career, you’ll need to keep up with industry trends. Jobs that are likely to end up completely automated in a couple of years are at the highest risk. Roles that involve repetitive tasks every day are more easily and likely to be replaced by AI.
Think about the following questions:
- Compared to this time last year, has your industry grown or become smaller?
- Is technology becoming more and more important in your work life?
- Is your industry outsourcing more and more tasks each year?
Finding answers to these questions will help you stay up to date and make it easier to determine whether you should work on expanding your skills or maybe even make a career change.
7. Consider your digital footprint
Most people do not Google themselves on a regular basis. However, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of doing this from time to time, in order to determine the quality of your digital footprint. If a quick Google search reveals unfavourable links, work on building a stronger digital portfolio that will push these unfavourable links further down the list to pages two and three.
Besides contributing on sites that are popular in your niche (as well as on social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter), aim to publish content that demonstrates how skilful you are – showing off your expertise is rarely a bad decision.
By dedicating some time on a regular basis to learn valuable skills, you’re bound to end up with something to fall back on in these ever-changing times we live in.
About Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer is a writer at Qeedle.com. She is well-versed in business processes and operations management. As she understands the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it’s her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.
Find out more:
The Job Search – Step Up & Stand Out
5 simple steps to differentiate yourself from others
Why and How to get into a Tech Career
Why choose a career in tech and where to find a job
Building Skills Whilst Unemployed
Increase employability and take a break from job applications